Thursday, February 25, 2010

Man's Rejection is God's Protection

I am about two seconds from renaming this blog, "Inspirations...About Once a Month". I was determined to post a message before March. I am ashamed that I haven't posted during the whole month of February which is also Black History Month. I clearly took some type of hiatus. Harriet Tubman would not be proud.

One thing I did do was talk to one of my former church members in Tallahassee. Her name is Dana. She is sweet as pie and she, too, was a Tallahassee transplant. She was from a small town in central Florida and happily made her home in Tally as we called it. We often spoke about how we never wanted to go back to our hometowns and how we would stay in Tally til death did us part. Dana also had a daughter and thought that Tally was the best place to rear her kid.

Just as my health problem started so did her financial problems. She begin to get eviction notices on her apartment door and her car had broken down. Like the image of the girl on the salt container walking in the rain with an umbrella, when it rains it pours. Like me, Dana was tenacious and decided to fight. She kept looking for jobs until she finally got one. It was also a job that she ultimately found that she hated. She found favor in that she was able to get a brand new set of wheels. Her new car sure was purty, all shiny and new.

She started to hate her job more and more. The bills kept mounting when one day she called me sounding defeated. "Girl, I have to move back to my parents house." I could offer no comforting words because at the time I had moved back to my mother's house battling lupus. So I mustered up, "Don't worry. Something good is going to come out it. Wait and see." She accepted the general verbiage but that was all I had to offer. I mean, I myself, was bedridden and was going through many things that have been very well documented within this blog. Heck, I was still waiting for my "good to come out of it" but I really didn't see the point of saying "girl, what we are going through is some bull@#$!" This was my church member after all.

She and her daughter returned home and the heavens opened up. She found a job that she loved. Her daughter is excelling leaps and bounds in school. She has been able to pay down and pay off some of her debt. She was most excited that now she and her daughter have top of the line health care insurance. Amen.

So, a couple of days ago, we were sitting on the phone, laughing at how we didn't want to leave Tally and how we left kicking and screaming. When we finally departed the city, we reenacted the scene from 'The Color Purple' when Celie and Nettie were playing Patty Cake. We were cracking up thinking about that image. Like those open hands that were used to play patty cake, our hands had to be open for God to grab it and take us to the next chapter in our lives.

I remember listening to a former mentor of mine, Crystal Mayo, as I accepted a journalism award as a high school senior. She said something that I will never forget and that I carry with me to this day. She held up her clenched fist and said, "with your hands closed nothing can get in and nothing can get out. It's when you open your hand that you can give and receive." Then she unballed her hand and waved her fingers. I will never forget that in life. Her voice cracked and tears began to stream down her face. I remember saying to myself, "damn, she meant that. I think I had better give that a try."

That scene from that evening thirteen years ago has been on my mind recently and especially pertains to me and Dana's situation. She and I thought we had hit our strides. Oh boy, were we having fun in Tallahassee. She being a career woman and mom. Me being the sought after 'eyelash lady' managing my own business and, in Jean's words, having the men all pause when I walked into the local jook joints. Now we don't even miss Tallahassee or what it offered.

I honestly have not thought about an eyelash since I have been in Detroit nor had any desire to do any eyelashes. My Godsister asked me recently to do hers and I almost asked her what she was talking about. I had to catch myself. Oh yeah, just last year I forgot it was embedded in my mind that I was going back to Tallahasssee and to eyelashes. So much so that I paid three months rent on an apartment that I wasn't even living in just waiting for my healing and so that I could go back south. My immediate healing never came but thank God I wasn't foolish enough to close my hand in the midst of my storm.

Coincidentally, Dana doesn't miss Tallahassee either. She thinks returning home was the best thing that has happened to her. I couldn't agree more. I feel the same way about my situation.

I guess it's true. When you make plans, God not only laughs but he hollers! I am constantly reminded not to get attached to anything in this world. When you are removed from a situation, it can be a blessing in disguise. As Lamar reminded me last week, "man's rejection is God's protection." Say that, Reverend Lamar!

If you say that you are for God, be prepared for some valleys but know that the peaks are just around the corner. God's grace won't take you anywhere that his mercy won't carry you. As you are being carried just make sure that you are going through with an open hand. You never know what sorts of goodies you will catch!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Promise to win in 2010

I'm happier than a fat pig in slop. So so very happy to be able to see another year. No I haven't won the Mega millions and yes, I have finished writing a book but no you won't find my name sitting high on the New York Times best seller list. I'm just happy.

The closing out of 2009 was uneventful. My family did absolutely nothing for Christmas and I was estatic. No one cooked macaroni and cheese, turkey and dressings and all the trimmings. My mom and aunts finally got that we don't need to have enough food to feed a third world country during the holidays. However, my aunt and I went to the movies and gleefully licked that artery clogging butter from our fingers. Absolute bliss. Quiet, uneventful. And peaceful.

The beginning of the year brought my friend losing her mom and my cousin losing his dad. The mom was 53 and my cousin's dad wasn't even 50. My cousin losing his dad really ate me up on the inside. It was bothering me so bad that I had to talk to my mom about it. I couldn't understand when so many deadbeat dads are running around why God allowed a good father to go home to glory. That just didn't sit well with me. She told me although it was natural for me to feel bad for my cousin, I was wasting my time being angry. "We all have to go sometime," she said. I knew that she is right and her words kind of shook me out of my funk. I mean, no one really ever thinks that it is their loved ones time to go, right? So if I were to take that attitude every time someone transitioned, I would stay upset.

So maybe that's why I've been a bit more chipper than usual. Grateful. Thankful yet always reminded that things could be worse. I could've woken up under 10 feet of rubble from the trappings of a earthquake. Instead I wake up each morning in my own bed. In my right mind (depending on whom you ask) with use of my arms, toes and being able to breathe on my own.

I think I'm finally growing up. It doesn't take much to make me happy, to make me smile with glee. My mother always said that I would get tired of running from place to place, flying here and there. In true mama form, she was right. There ain't nothing like being still. When you are constantly going and going, you really do miss out on the simple things. The joyful things. The "I don't want anything for Christmas except going to see 'The Princess and the Frog'" type of things. This grown up business is the bomb when it's done properly. So stop moving so fast and take time to grow up. And always remember to take time to say 'thank you'.

"Tragedies are commonplace
All kinds of diseases,
people are slipping away
Economies down, people don't get
Enough pay
But as for me all I can say is
Thank you Lord for all
you done for me
I wanna thank you for your love
Thank you for your power
Thank you for
protection, every hour
Thank you..."~Mary, Mary and Walter Hawkins and any choir around the world.